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    Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Young Relics come to Sterling
    As cool air begins to mingle with the season’s final sultry days, I find I’m not ready to say goodbye to the outdoor season any time soon. Most of my neighbors seem to feel the same way and, fortunately for all of us, eastern Loudoun has enough in the way of ongoing outdoor activity to keep everyone happy well into the autumn.

    Concert on the lawn: The CountrySide concert series closes its 2014 season with an outdoor blast from the past by the Young Relics, four Falls Church-based classic rockers specializing in deep cuts and hits from the 60s and 70s. The show takes place Friday, Sept. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. on CountrySide’s Parkway Pool lawn.

    River tours: If you’ve always wondered about the small islands you can see from the Potomac shoreline, Algonkian Regional Park can help you find the answer your questions. The park presents its final Saturday morning paddle tours of the season on Sept. 13 and Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. In addition, the park offers fall color paddle tours on Oct. 25 and 26 from noon to 3 p.m. These guided tours on the upper reaches of the Potomac focus on the general ecology of the area. Registration is required, as is the ability to paddle a boat throughout the tour. The cost is $30. For information, call 703-450-4655.

    Vendors wanted:
    The CountrySide and Cascades community associations are looking for vendors and crafters to participate in the communities’ upcoming fall festivals.

    For its Oct. 4 fall festival in the Parkway Pool parking lot, the CountrySide Proprietary is looking for crafters in the areas of flowers, jewelry, home living, painting and more, as well as representatives of home-based businesses such as Mary Kay cosmetics. Vendor space is available for $10 for CountrySide residents and $15 for nonresidents. For information, contact kellydc.cside[at]pmpbiz.com.

    The Cascades Community Association is looking for merchandise and food vendors for its Oct. 18 fall festival (rain date is Oct. 25), held outdoors at Potomac Falls High School. Merchandise vendors can participate for free and must provide their own tables and chairs. Tents smaller than 10x10 are permitted. Food vendors must have temporary food permits; permit applications must be submitted to the Health Department more than 10 days before the event. To participate, submit an application to the Cascades Community Association. The application form is online at cascadesva.com, on page 12 of the August issue of the Cascades Current.

    Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com.


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    STERLING BOLEVARD: Read to me
    Every child has a book that they love to hear read to them. Usually, this book is the same one that the parent is all too willing to have “accidentally” end up in the trash. But we do it anyway. Because we all know that reading to children is a good thing – even if it’s the millionth time you’ve read the annoying story about the princess.

    Kids not only benefit from being read to from their parents, though. Getting read to by anyone has a huge effect on a child’s education and interests. A study based in Australia showed that young children who are read to on a regular basis can be up to a half-year beyond their non-read-to cohorts. Read to a child every day and the benefits are more than doubled. It also improves a child’s vocabulary and makes reading something enjoyable and fun.

    Even better than seeing a parent read is seeing an older kid read. After all, what child doesn’t look up to the big kids? The Sterling Library, on Enterprise Street, is holding an orientation on Monday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. for teenagers who are interested in becoming a reading buddy for kids in our area. Once a week, these teenagers will come to the library and read aloud to children age 3-6. This can also qualify for community service hours and is just a really nice thing to do. All the teenager has to be is between the ages of 12-18 and show up to orientation – no need to preregister.

    If you think the benefits will be just on the little kids’ side – you’re wrong. Reading aloud has been shown to improve reading fluency, strengthen vocabulary and increase confidence. Plus you get to be with kids who will be hanging on your every word. Talk about an ego booster.

    Also while we’re talking about teens and the library, On Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., the Sterling Library is holding a Teen Advisory Board Interest meeting. If you’re 12-18 and have some great ideas about teen events, want to help with the library or want to become more involved, this is your opportunity to make a difference. You’ll also be earning those community service hours.

    Have questions about the reading buddies program or the Teen Advisory Board? Just call the library at 703-430-9500 and they’ll be happy to get you the answers.

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    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING:  The Chrisman Effect: $42,000 raised to fight ALS
    Daniella Hang, a student at Potowmack Elementary, and Ashley Chrisman, a teacher at Potowmack Elementary and the daughter of PFHS teacher Kathy Chrisman, on the runway for ALS. Photo/courtesy Scott Whitehouse.
    Long before the Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm, Potomac Falls High School marketing teacher Kathy Chrisman was leading the charge in eastern Loudoun for fundraising in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    As the school’s DECA marketing program sponsor, Chrisman has produced a range of fundraising efforts since 2004, the year the ALS Association was chosen as the Potomac Falls DECA program’s charity of choice. To date, the PFHS DECA chapter has raised more than $42,000 for the fight against ALS through events including fashion shows, holiday open houses and a unique “Best Seat in the House” program that puts a couch on the Potomac Falls track for a close-up view of a Panthers football game.

    In August, Chrisman and students from Potomac Falls High School, River Bend Middle School and Potowmack Elementary School put on a fundraising fashion show in cooperation with Macy’s at Dulles Town Center—no small feat, since school was not in session at the time. Project leaders Ebone Smith, Kylee O’Loughlin and Gabby Cuevas, all PFHS students, worked throughout the summer to line up volunteers and keep the fundraising efforts on track.

    A spirited group of 75 students—and a few teachers—modeled the latest in Macy’s fashions for back-to-school and homecoming, on a stage set up inside the mall at the store’s lower-level entrance. The show drew quite a crowd, with shoppers even lined up along the mall’s top-level railing to watch the proceedings.

    As part of the fundraiser, the PFHS DECA students sold coupons for $5 for the Macy’s Shop for a Cause program. The coupons provided a 25% discount that day on items throughout the store, and a chance to win a $500 Macy's shopping spree.

    Additional funds were raised through a raffle offering prizes from local businesses including Applebee’s, Chick-fil-A, Chili’s, Express at Dulles Town Center, Famous Dave’s, Four Seasons Salon & Spa, Gold’s Gym, King Pinz, Ledo Pizza, Logan’s Roadhouse, Lucia’s Italian Restaurant, Macy’s, Noodles & Company, Picture People and Robeks.

    As might be expected, the school’s ALS fundraising this summer also included the Ice Bucket Challenge, with participation by the cross-country team, the football team, the volleyball team, the administration team and many teachers. Chrisman took her Ice Bucket Challenge with the football team; they raised $300 that night for the fashion show’s ALS donation fund.
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    STERLING BOULEVARD: Going batty
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Guided Trekking in Algonkian Park
    STERLING BOULEVARD: For the love of the game
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Wrapping up a Sterling summer
    STERLING BOULEVARD:Dates and boys
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: The Back to School Brigade: Supporting military families
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADE/STERLING: Sterling’s Summer Scholars
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Bright Lights Bring Big Concerns
    STERLING BOULEVARD: Happy Anniversary
    COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Cracker Barrel comes to Sterling
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